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I just purchased a AR15, got it zeroed in. Shoots like a dream but cleaning, I need help. Can anyone send me a visual breakdown with step by step how to do this. Kinda of a HOW TO BREAKDOWN AND CLEAN AN AR15 ( BOOK FOR DUMMIES) Please help me if you can and are willing?



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Military Weapon Cleaning Procedures

Military weapons demand better cleaning attention than sporting firearms. The receiver, locking lugs and chamber are more important than the entire length of the bore. If you cannot get the bolt open or a shell into the firearm it becomes useless. A brush does not clean a weapon, it only loosens the powder residue, copper and dirt. A tight patch is essential to mop out these critical areas.

The locking lugs are the most important area to clean on the weapon. Loose powder residue builds up in the recess in front of the lugs. This buildup may bind the bolt and prevent it from cycling smoothly. This is a progressive cleaning area, the loose residue in this area eventually pack if not removed. One cause of buildup in the locking lugs is incorrect cleaning. If you pull or push a brush back toward the chamber the bristles will catapult the dirt into the recess behind the lugs. Feel the residue from the locking lugs, if it is abrasive, someone cleaned in the wrong direction.

The chamber must be keep clean to allow easy extraction of the empty shell. If scratches are present the case fire forms into these recesses and prevent the case from ejecting. It is normal to get a gummy residue buildup at the chamber shoulder. This is loosened with the chamber brush. The rotating swab will mop the loose residue out. Pay special attention to this area after firing blank rounds .

The neck and shoulder of the neck is cleaned by rotating the bore brush and swab before the bore is cleaned. Powder reside buildup in the neck will trap the bullet, late release times and stuck cases result.

The bore should only be cleaned in the direction of the bullet. If you take abrasive dirt from the muzzle and induce it into the chamber and neck the bullet will drag it down the bore. This is the number one cause of throat erosion. The crown of the muzzle gives a bullet its final direction. Take care not to nick or scratch this area.


M-16 Cleaning Procedure

Assemble the flexible cleaning rod by putting the slotted tip on one end and the knurled obstruction remover on the other end. This knurled part allows turning the rod for chamber cleaning.

Swab Attachment

Method 1- Insert the point of the patch into the slotted tip. Center the patch.

Method 2- Punch a hole in the center of the swab. This insures that the swab will be tied onto the forged brass tip to prevent it from accidentally lodging in the bore.

-Place the brass tip into the slot on the swab.

-Take a pinch on the swab at the corner. Pinch it upward to a point.

-Feed the tip of the fold through the slot in the brass tip.

-Pull this tightly as this ties the knot, that will give the efficient scrubbing action.

-Notice that if tied correctly the swab now forms a symmetrical cone . This will center the tip and provide 360 degree scrubbing action.

-Always use a new clean surface each time you pull the swab down the bore. This is equivalent to rinsing out a mop and prevents abrasive dirt in the muzzle from getting tracked into the chamber area.

-The size of the swab can be varied by placing the slot in a different location on the swab.

Check to make sure the weapon is unloaded and the magazine is empty. The most important rule of gun cleaning is to always clean from breech to muzzle in the direction of the bullet. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you go in the wrong direction "muzzle to breech" you will bring powder residue and abrasive dirt from the barrel into the chamber and neck. The next bullet down the barrel will drag this dirt and erode the bore.


1. Pull a patch with solvent through the bore to mop out any loose residue and dirt.

2. Pull a brush. Turn it to clean the neck and shoulder of the neck chamber.

3. Pull a new swab to mop the residue the brush loosened.

4. Repeat this procedure until the swab comes out clean.

Open the action as if you were inserting a cartridge. Run the Memory-flex rod down the bore in the natural direction of the bullet.

After using the general purpose brush to loosen dirt in the upper receiver, wrap a swab around the end of the brush to clean and lubricate the interior.

The swab is tied onto the forged brass tip so you can work the rod within the receiver until it is clean.

Apply 3 to 5 drops of solvent to the front end of the knot in the swab.

Do not dip the swab or brush into solvent. This will allow excess solvent with residue to wash into the trigger group.

The solvent will be squeezed out of the swab when it enters the shoulder of the chamber. The solvent will flush ahead of the swab knot and lubricate any abrasive dirt in the bore.

The uncompressed part of the swab will follow and extract the solvent with the residue.

Turn the rod as you enter the locking lugs. This is the most important area of the weapon. Use the receiver brush or your finger to force the turning swab into the recess in front of the lugs.

Continue turning the swab as it enter the chamber. This will mop out the gummy buildup at the shoulder. This is common after firing blanks.

Continue to turn the swab as you enter the neck to clean and lubricate this area.

A brush only loosens residue and dirt, the swab is needed in this area to mop this loose dirt from the bore.

Now that you have cleaned the loose residue out of the receiver, locking lugs, chamber, shoulder and neck. we will clean the bore.

Do not worry about swivels, the rod rotates within itself. Use the "T" handle if you desire.

Turn the swab over and use a new surface for your next cleaning cycle.

Pull the flexible pullthrough rod out of the barrel in the direction of the bullet breech to muzzle.

Using Chamber and Bore Brushes

Assemble the short chamber cleaning rod The chamber brush on one end the "T" handle on the other end. Insert the brush into the chamber. Turn the brush in a clockwise direction, let it feed itself into the chamber.

This will loosen the powder residue and surface scale in the chamber and locking lugs. Continue turning the brush as it scrubs the shoulder. Turn and pull the brush from the chamber.

Assemble the bore brush on the flexible pullthrough rod. insert the rod into and down the bore.

Do not pull the brush into the bore at first. Turn the rod as the brush enters the chamber and into the neck. You will feel the brush scrubbing the shoulder of the neck.

After scrubbing the neck pull the brush in the direction of the bullet "breech to muzzle."

Now run the swab as we described earlier, This will mop out the chamber area and bore where the brush loosened residue.

The most important feature of the cleaning system is the flexible pullthrough cleaning rod. The cable like construction limits the torque on the components. This allow brushes and swabs to easily follow the twist of the rifling.

The neck is critical to the accuracy of the weapon. When the new round is inserted the brass case is a few thousands of an inch from the throat or start of the bore. The new bullet rests at the start of the throat. When the weapon is fired the case elongates to the shoulder of the neck. If dirt is present the bullet gets trapped and has a later release time. The bore brush is made oversize to scrub this critical area

All brushes and tips will be easily loosened with your fingers.

I found these instructions at:

Impact Guns

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Hi Ronnies111,

Each of the manufacturers of AR15s usually has the owner's manual available for downloading at their site. These will describe the cleaning procedure that they recommend. Additionally, various manuals covering use and maintenance of these fine rifles are available on the net at other places.

If you haven't already done so, you might want to sign up as a member at The Maryland AR15 Shooters Site. This is an outstanding site with a gold mine of information. Another excellent site for AR15 stuff is Colorado AR15 Shooters Site. See too, These sites list some places where you can download free AR15/M16 manuals.

After cleaning thoroughly, lubricate with a light coating of ArmaLube. (just kidding, I sell this stuff). You might want to check it out; however, at ArmaLube. A sample is available for FREE!

Good luck with that new rifle.

Merry Christmas,


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Throw it away and buy a decent rifle...any firearm that needs a thumping great slam handle to help make sure the bolt drives home is surely not ideal, and by the very fact that the bolt assist is there, is the manufacturer's admission of inadequate engineering! By the way, if you read the above posts, the cleaning procedure would take some time and more than a little care, totally unacceptable in a combat situation. I hope you never have to rely on an ar15 in combat, and I'm sure thousands of dead american and australian soldiers would agree with me.

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The AR15s made since the late 70s work fine. the forward assist is there because there is no slide handle as on conventional auto rifles. the military demanded it be added. .223 is great in a sub machine gun, In a service rifle, Im not so sure, think Id want a .308. They are a little time consuming to clean proper but you dont have to totaly strip it every time either, its not like a musket or anything. soak her down in WD- 40 and wipe it out. If it gets a little gritty give it a good cleaning. I like my Bushy AR.

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